Penn State faces fines in Sandusky case

July 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., July 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Education's investigation into Penn State University's handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case could impact school funding.

Colleges receiving federal aid are bound by the Clery Act, a federal law requiring universities to provide accurate reports of on-campus crime. If Penn State is found in violation, in the wake of the Freeh Report which pointed out consistent and systematic failures of the school to follow the law, it could face fines of up to $27,500 per incident and the possible loss of grants, loans and work-study payments, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.

The newspaper mentioned a 2002 case in which late head Coach Joe Paterno allowed a football standout to participate in a post-season bowl game despite an accusation of a dorm-room rape. Although the player was acquitted of the crime, the university reported there were no sexual assaults involving students that year.

"So many people view the Clery Act as a bureaucratic obligation. Many schools were ignorant to the requirements and when they did become aware of them, they met with institutional resistance," said S. Daniel Carter, formerly an executive with the Clery Center for Security on Campus.

Penn State's "incomplete implementation of the Clery Act was a contributing factor in the failure to report child abuse committed by Sandusky," the Freeh Report said.

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